Short pitch: naming rights
Around the cricket world on 15 May 2015, Sunrisers couldn’t rise to the challenge of the Royal Challengers; Jets motored past Steelbacks; Outlaws outflanked Bears; Spitfires sank Sharks; Foxes were foxed by Lightning; Panthers preyed upon Rams; and Stallions flew past Falcons.
In my neck of the woods, Badgers confronted Squirrels, but both retreated in the face of rain. Despite badgers better cricket pedigree, the Squirrels probably had the edge when the weather drove them from the field.
I am responsible for the names of my club’s two under nine teams, who played each other in the most local of local derbies this evening. Two years ago, taking the task altogether too seriously, I had tried to find names that conveyed the energy, bordering on chaos, that characterises under nine cricket. I also wanted something original – a pair of names that aren’t used by US professional sports franchises, which seems to be the strongest influence on naming practices in UK junior sport.
I had originally submitted two teams to the league, named Chimps and Gibbons. My intention was understood and caused amusement, but I was asked to think again, in case my naming rights might inadvertantly cause offence.
I asked my wife for inspiration. She made two suggestions. The first was Bats and Pippistrelles. Her second idea, had I the courage to use it, would have made our teams the most stylish in the league: Bowlers and Trilbies. She is available, for a fee, to any organisers of new T20 tournaments looking to create and name their franchises.